Jeff Aronin: Evozyne is Meeting the Optimized Protein Needs of Life Science Companies in a Novel Way

Updated on July 23, 2021

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In the past few years, environmental concerns and disease management have rapidly increased in priority. Companies are working to create innovative solutions for challenges impacting the world and way people live. Now, more than ever before, the focus is on solving problems to improve the world today and for future generations to come. That means, all eyes are on companies that have the technology to make this happen, including a Chicago-based company called Evozyne.

Evozyne, a molecular engineering technology company, is poised to turn the industry on its head with a cutting-edge approach to proteins. Its transformational technology provides optimized protein solutions to address some of the toughest challenges in human health and society, including developing new clean energy sources and eco-friendly waste removal.  

The company is catching some second looks for a multitude of reasons, including its location. 

Traditionally, many tech and bio-based companies are headquartered along the coasts. However, Co-Founder and Chairman Jeff Aronin chose the Windy City as Evozyne’s base because he believes the city is on the verge of being a breakout metro hub for life science companies. Recent reports suggest his intuition was right.

Over the past three decades, Jeff Aronin has watched life sciences evolve, transforming into what is being coined as a “bio revolution.” This bio revolution involves developing innovative bio-based solutions to tackle issues facing people and society. Evozyne is part of this bio revolution.

Evozyne offers end-to-end protein engineering and optimization drawn from proprietary technology. The creation process allows Evozyne to gather protein information from its genome database, run it through a machine-learning process that mimics nature, and build novel proteins that could be used for a wide number of applications. The emerging tech solutions include optimizing proteins to work in a specific manner, such as progressing agricultural efficiency, targeting drug treatments and addressing environmental concerns, among other applications.

For example, Evozyne has the potential to one day split water into a biological hydrogen cell for fuel use. Some of Evozyne’s capabilities and current projects include:

  • Combatting climate change by converting hazardous chemicals from landfills and wastewater.
  • Developing enzymes to improve the targeted nature of specific medications, reducing or eliminating negative side effects.
  • Creating potentially life-changing therapeutic options for individuals with certain rare diseases.

Aronin says essentially, there is no limit to what the company could do with its optimized proteins.

With a strong team guiding advancements and its impressive technology, Evozyne is well-positioned to help develop novel optimized proteins for companies in need. There is plenty of fresh demand from companies that are currently looking for proteins designed for medical, agricultural, materials, and environmental needs to:

  • Cure diseases with cutting-edge solutions for therapeutics.
  • Solve agricultural challenges caused by an increasing global population, climate change, and decreased arable land.
  • Create physical materials to solve increased demand for polymers and fibers.
  • Change harmful chemicals and supplying carbon-neutral solutions for the environment.

A publication released in the peer-review journal Science demonstrated the foundation of Evozyne’s evolution-based, data-driven engineering process for building artificial functional enzymes. The Science paper titled “An evolution-based model for designing chorismate mutase enzymes” describes a process to identify nature’s design rules for specifying proteins purely from evolutionary sequence data and apply those rules using new advanced engineering technologies to build libraries of optimized molecules.

Through computational modeling, gene synthesis, and high-throughput assays, Evozyne learns from nature’s design rules and rationally searches a vast design space to generate a pipeline of optimized proteins that offer the desired functionality. This approach empowers partnering companies to create tangible outcomes that fit perfectly into their projects. Those optimized proteins are able to be produced at a scale of thousands per iteration.

Evozyne is then able to test the designed proteins with cutting-edge tech to ensure they fulfill target specifications. Using the results from the tests, the computational models are retrained to move closer to the desired product until the right protein sequence is achieved. This results in a novel protein sequence that meets optimal performance specifications and offers meaningful value.

It’s possible this optimized protein design approach is one of the biggest tech innovations of all time. The ability to customize proteins for desired outcomes offers access to innovative solutions almost unheard of.

Evozyne is a portfolio company of Paragon Biosciences, a global life science leader founded by Jeff Aronin. Paragon identifies unmet needs and uses biology to accelerate scientific breakthroughs to solve some of society’s most challenging problems, enabling us to transform the way people live. 

About Evozyne

Evozyne is a data-driven, evolution-based molecular engineering company based in Chicago, with a mission to become the primary enabler of optimized protein design across all aspects of human life. Evozyne strives to partner with companies who want to solve challenges in feeding the world, curing diseases, cleaning our environment, and making tomorrow’s materials. For more information, visit

About Jeff Aronin

Jeff Aronin is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Paragon Biosciences, a global bio-based life science company, that creates, invests in and funds companies focused on adaptive biology, cell and gene therapy, and biotechnology. Evozyne is one of seven companies that are part of the Paragon Biosciences portfolio. 

Since 2017, Jeff Aronin has worked alongside Paragon’s partners to improve lives by investing over $1 billion in life science companies with an expectation to continue investments of up to $500 million per year. The continued flow of incubating companies is making an impact on the global biotech landscape. Jeff Aronin has won multiple honors and awards, including Top 10 Inspiring CEOs from Insights Magazine, Innovator of the Year from Best in Biz, Leadership Award from Weizmann, Executive of the Year Award, and Entrepreneur Award from BIG Awards for Business.

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